Rise and Fall
…I´m okay, I´m okay sweetheart, just some strange headache. - I said. –Should we go back to town? - She replied. –No, no, I´m fine.-. –Okay, but if you feel bad again we should leave this for another day.-. –I think I´ll do just fine, thank you.-I say with a smile.
I am down on my knees, looking at the soft, green grass in front of me. My hands hurt a bit. I shake my head quickly and then get up on my feet. That mysterious house is now in front of me, waiting for me to enter and listen to the things that the spirits hiding there want to say so badly. This house has been abandoned for a long time, and folk who have come here have said that you can still hear whispers and cracks all around the house. No one really knows why the house was abandoned. As far as everyone is concerned, one mysterious day the family living there simply disappeared; no murders, no massacres, and no strange magic, just gone…that’s the common story at least, nothing that one can easily watch in a horror movie. As I try to recover focus, I stare at the house for some seconds; so aged, lonesome, teasing, mysterious. I had never seen a real haunted house before, neither has Samantha, so maybe we´ll experience something eerie in one of the forgotten rooms of this abandoned place.
We try to enter through the main door but it won’t budge, so we walk for some meters towards a door we saw at the left side of the house. I look at Samantha and we both smile. The doorknob turns with ease, giving entrance to the kitchen. I enter first, amazed by the perfect silence inside. Samantha closes the door behind us and we start to look around every corner of the kitchen. Empty. I turn on the sink to see if water still runs through the house, but nothing happens, not a single sound besides a poor squeak from the handle. Samantha finds a light switch, but it doesn’t seem to work either. - I expected it, still, we could use some light in here!-She tells me. We open the doors of some of the furniture around the kitchen, just to find cobwebs, dust and trash. Two doors connect the kitchen with the rest of the house, and another door seems to be for some sort of storage, one we cannot seem to enter. We go through the door almost in front of the one that let us inside the kitchen. At our right we can see the main entrance and some stairs, and between them an empty table; at our left there´s the dining room, and next to it the living room. We walk toward the dining room first. Just a big mossy table remains. A damaged chandelier is suspended above the middle of the table, and the ceiling looks highly affected by moisture. A painting hangs from the wall next to one end of the table. Samantha gets close to the chandelier. She checks the light bulbs. Each one of them is dusty and broken. While she does this, I walk towards the living room. I look at the main entrance, then at the stairs. Two sets of stairs; Fancy, though unnecessary. Under one of the stairs I notice there´s a door; maybe and entrance to the basement. I stop walking for a moment and focus on this door. It’s locked, but it seems that I can open it with a key, a key that we may find somewhere around the house. I now look towards the living room. A few chairs still remain, each of them scattered around a chest that sits in the middle of the room. In one corner there´s an old fireplace; some books and random pages lie burned inside of it. I look again at the chest and try to open it, but its lock seems to be rusted shut. The chest is too heavy to be moved for some reason.
We are both struck by the sudden sound of rain drops around us, so I look out a window close to the fireplace to see endless drops of water pouring outside. –Unbelievable-I say with a laugh. Samantha laughs back in reply. I walk around the living room while looking at the floor; There´s a carpet lying beneath the chest, all discolored and ragged. Samantha walks towards the front door and tries to open it without success.-Well it is not locked or anything-She says as I look around the living room a couple of times; nothing interesting besides two lamps hanging from the ceiling. It’s intriguing how the house looks so well conserved; nobody’s lived here for a long time, and the house looks nearly destroyed in some parts, but in other parts it looks well taken care of. –Hey I want to explore the second floor! – She mutters as she grabs my hand, and then leads me to one of the stairs. While we walk up the stairs we pass some more paintings, all from landscapes or fruit. At the middle of the ceiling hangs another chandelier, this one meant to give light to the front of the house. Before we could finish walking up the stairs, I look back at the other stairs that have the basement door beneath them, and I can see how the door rattles for a moment, like if someone is trying to get out, and for a moment I think I hear a scream, but I don’t want to scare Samantha, not right now. Before I know it we get to the second floor and we start to look around.
We notice that half-a-meter in front of us there´s a string with a ring at the end, hanging from the ceiling.-Hey! Is that the entrance to the attic?-She asks me. I pull down on the string to see
some stairs falling from the ceiling, effectively giving entrance to the attic.-Ha-ha! An attic, cool!-I answer.
-I´m going to check it out and see if there´s anything interesting. Meanwhile why don’t you walk around and try to see what rooms are open?-I tell her.
-Ha-ha, okay, I´ll do that. If anything happens, call my name!-
I go up the stairs quickly, hoping that I´ll find something like in the horror movies. In front of me there are some more chests. I turn around to witness the entirety of the attic, but everything is so dark that I am forced to use my cellphone as a flashlight. Many empty bookshelves surround me, and right in front of me there´s an unsettling chair looking right at me, and behind this chair lies a desk with a candle on top of it. I frown and then place my feet in the floor of the attic. I slowly walk towards the chair and examine it for a moment; looks dusty but well taken care of. I wonder why anyone would place it in a way that it looks towards the entrance of the attic; it does make a creepy sight. The desk is also dirty, but besides the candle and a cobweb, that’s all there is to it. I look left and right to see if there´s anything else besides this desk, the chair and the many bookshelves, but the room is vastly empty and gloomy. The ceiling is the most impressive thing in the room. Even though the room is so dark, I can see no possible light sources in the ceiling. I try to investigate to see if I missed a lamp on a wall, but I find nothing, leaving me with the thought that a candle was once the only option to illuminate this room.
The sound of the rain increases with time. I walk through some of the bookshelves to find torn papers and destroyed books on the floor. A couple of books are still in good shape. Many of the books about detectives and thrillers I think. Between other shelves I find some books about science and the human body. I find the subjects in most of these books interesting. While I read the pages of one of these books I hear a soft but clear sound of a match being turned on, echoing through the overwhelming darkness. I walk out of the bookshelves to see that the candle on the desk has been turned on, and next to the desk a woman´s ghost is hovering and looking directly at the candle as it lights her emotionless face. I notice a slight resemblance to Samantha. She is dressed with frayed, old, white clothes. Her right arm is broken in many places and her left arm is rotten and bitten. Her legs are undistinguishable. I stare at the apparition for some seconds until a repulsive smell of vinegar and burned plastic begins to infect the area. It helps me to react, and I immediately run towards the stairs that lead to the second floor without even thinking of turning back. –Samantha!-I scream as I run briskly. When I reach the stairs I quickly go down as the smell fades away and I feel safe for a moment.
I gasp for some seconds with my eyes closed, trying to choose between thinking that this was a cool experience to tell, or if what I just saw was a sign that something very bad happened in this house. I can finally open my eyes, but how I wish I were blind.
The house now looks newer in a way. I can no longer see dust or moisture or cobwebs anywhere. Everything is from another time, maybe early twentieth century. I stare out of a barred window to see that there´s still rain outside, but it was time for the night to rule over the house. The house looks way darker than before, and if it weren’t for the small amount of now barred windows, I would be in complete and utter darkness. I scream “Samantha!” one more time. As I try to cope with the situation, a chilling breeze begins to blow softly on my face. The disturbing silence is also affected by the breeze, with a sound that chilled me to the bones. I notice that a window is open and letting that breeze in, so I move quickly to close it. I look left to see that there´s a long hall with a table at the end of it, and on top of the table lies another candle, burning weakly. Next to the table there’s a door open wide. The ambience feels hostile and depressing, and I cannot stop thinking about Samantha; she hasn’t answered my calls and I’m afraid that this place might´ve done something to her. I turn towards the hall willing to walk towards the room, but a whisper coming from behind makes me turn around quickly. I stare at a painting of a family.
Each of the family members has a peculiarity in their faces. The father is staring at the left with a strange look of disgust. The mother is probably looking at me, but the whole face seems to be distorted. And finally, a boy, standing in the middle of his two parents, has no face at all. I stare mostly at the boy, trying to figure out the nature of this painting, but while I try to do this the picture starts to act as a broken television, changing colors and shapes, making no sense, then showing strange images of blood and dead people. I walk backwards unto the hall as I watch the painting act, then finally turn into a bright white and fall into the ground, breaking into endless pieces of wood.
I make sure that I’m not hallucinating, the finally reach the room at the end of the hall. I quickly enter it, but instead of feeling comfortable and secure, I feel claustrophobic and absurdly tired. I see a bed at one corner of the room, and next to it, a table, lying broken on the floor. I sit down in a corner adjacent to the bed, and begin to wait for a sign of some sort of human presence.
About 10 minutes pass until I recover sanity and the will to continue. In all this time I never heard more than a few cracks coming from me moving innocently in the same corner. I gently get up from the cold floor of the room, and then walk towards the door, slowly noticing a strange smell of humidity. Right before I can go out of the room I notice something on the floor, a key. I remember the basement door. I´m amazed when I’m outside the room and I see that the walls, the floor, and the ceiling, now look old and somewhat corroded. A dark brown now dominates the walls, and as soon as I walk out of the hall, I notice instantly that the whole house is affected. I notice a strange white light with my peripheral vision, making me look back at the hall for a moment. I stare at the table with the candle on top of it. The candle flickers repeatedly and finally the candle goes out, making the hall almost undistinguishable.
I look immediately towards the other hall. I recognize Samantha’s voice, and I’m almost entirely sure that it comes from this hall. She seemed to be in a lot of pain, and her voice sounded like if she was drowning. I walk anxiously towards the hall, but when I’m in the middle of my trajectory, I hear a loud guttural sound from some beast, coming from the hall I wanted to go to. I stopped and took a deep breath, praying for the terrifying silence not to leave me. I see the shadow of something coming out of the hall, and then finally see the creature. A human head creeps out of the hall, pale and stained in blood, with scissors and knifes stabbed into its eyes, and its mouth moving at shocking speeds, making loud guttural voices; thousands of voices. The creature walks with what I can only describe as spider legs with teeth as its fingers, but when I see the entirety of the creature, I realize that its body is more of a scorpion. The horrific creature has some exoskeleton that reassembles a crab´s. Spikes come out of its legs and body, and it´s stinger is another human head, this one with a bloody mouth and 4 spider-like eyes, also making atrocious guttural sounds, but sounded slightly more female. He walks slowly towards me showing a visceral need to murder.
I cannot believe my eyes. This mess of disgusting creatures makes me question the very bases of biology and life in general. My head begins to hurt and I feel my soul leaving me, but I react quickly and run down the stairs leading to the first floor, while crying and sobbing in unimaginable ways. I get to the basement door as I feel the beast crawling down the stairs, coming closer to me. The tears block my sight and my hands tremble, but I finally open the basement door, and I face a small passage to the basement. I quickly close the door behind me, and wait some seconds so the silence can haunt me again.
The darkness that I face now is my only chance of getting out of the house. I know that there’s an entrance to the house on its right side, but me and Samantha didn’t want to enter through the basement. –Samantha…- I sob.
I walk down the stairs, listening to my own steps and looking everywhere. When I finally reach the basement floor, I look at my right to see a faint light coming from the doors that lead outside. The basement is completely empty besides many more books and pages lying on the floor. I still have a headache and my heart beats quickly. I run as fast as I can, go up the stairs, punch the doors open and finally come out of the nightmare house. I look up towards the sky, but I feel strange as soon as I notice that now there´s sun on my face, and no rain. I start to feel and look confused. Even though the sun is somehow refreshing, I cannot help to feel uncomfortable by this change. I look at the ground to see two mounds of dirt in rectangular forms, each with a mediocre gravestone at the end. I fall on my knees when I notice that the first gravestone has “Samantha Fletcher” written on it, and above these words, the usual “R.I.P.”. I look down at the grass, trying to cope with the unsettling sight in front of me. I try to cry but tears won´t come out of my eyes. I hit the ground with my fists in pure anger. I feel a voice behind me saying “Hey! What’s wrong?! “. As soon as I try to pay attention, my head starts to hurt worse than ever.
-Dammit what’s wrong?!-
-Are you okay?!-…
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